August/September 2022


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Practically perfect
Chris and Carolyn Francis set out to build an old-style house by the sweat of their brows – and ended up building their business. Ever industrious, they also created a dream garden from scratch, complete with an ingenious rotating chook pen, writes Deborah McIntosh.

Lady tradies
Few women enter the construction industry but two locals are building fabulous careers in their male-dominated professions. House painter Victoria Waring and bricklayer Sheree Canham tell Deborah McIntosh why they love their careers, despite often being the only woman on the job site.

Seeking beauty in ordinary things
Mary Taguchi has always led a colourful life, travelling, learning Japanese, teaching, collecting fabrics. Now, in her studio in Bungendore, she’s drawing all the strands of her life together, making clothes from fabrics dyed in the traditional Japanese way, writes Peter Meredith

Slow gardening at Coombe Wood
Good gardens are not created overnight. The Backyard Blitz approach might be fine to tart up a property for sale, but not for a garden of enduring pleasure that is suited to its site. Gardening Writer John Stowar finds the “slow gardening” approach is working superbly at Coombe Wood, a garden that has taken 25 years to evolve.

Bulbs for spring
It is a special delight to grow bulbs in our own gardens. Many of them are set-and-forget plants: place them in a well-chosen spot and forget about their welfare. They can look after themselves and then delight us with their faithful reappearance year after year. Turn to our guide to easy-to-grow bulbs.

Skinny cooks find Berrima a perfect fit
Veronica Stute and Justin Wells started a vegetable garden at their Berrima weekender in 2008, never guessing they would one day use its produce in a local cafe. Deborah McIntosh speaks to the owners of Two Skinny Cooks.

Delicious Vietnamese
Food Writer Rosa Matto  takes us on a journey through the delightful cuisine of Vietnam; food which changes markedly as visitors travel down the long, narrow country. Try the green mango salad, or maybe the glazed sesame pumpkin recipes.

GlenFion blessed by rocky start
Shiraz is almost unheard of in the Highlands, but a Canyonleigh property’s rugged landscape has produced a shiraz deemed worthy of some exclusive wine lists.

The Bowral bowerbirds
Tim and Bronwen Westley, trained horticulturists and self-confessed bowerbirds, have both assembled unique collections in their Bowral home. Tim collects bottles manufactured in the Southern Highlands, Bronwen specialises in postcards showing the Sydney Botanic Garden. They spoke with James Cockington.


Highlife – April/May 2012 [DOWNLOADABLE PDF]